By David Knoke
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Extra resources for Changing Organizations
The top executives in the strategic apex serve the firm's mission and forge networks of power relations to the important external actors affecting the organization's fate, such as suppliers, customers, and governmental regulatory agencies. The middle-line managers try to coordinate the activities within and across various internal work units. The lowest-level managers directly supervise the operating core of employees who actually produce and distribute the company's physical goods and services.
2 in 1994, a 10 percent decrease (Markets 1995). Nor did corporate downsizing stop once economic prosperity revived in the mid-1990s. Although the fortunes of many corporations recovered, others dwindled under relentless competition. Wal-Mart and MCI Communications together created 230,000 jobs, but such familiar names as Kodak, Woolworth, and Xerox continued laying off workers. 993 alone, General Motors announced elimination of 69,650 employees; Sears cut 50,000 workers; and IBM, AT&T, and Boeing each axed more than 30,000 jobs.
History up to that time, an RJR Nabisco management team led by its chief officer Ross Johnson lost a $25 billion bidding war in 1987 against the venture-capital firm Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts (KKR). The amusing shenanigans behind that mega-deal also produced an entertaining book (Burroughs and Hellyar 1990) and an eponymous comedy film. Barbarians at the Gate, starring Jarnes Garner. Not laughing at all were the middle managers and employees who were later squeezed out when KKR sold off various RJR Nabisco units to pay for their gamble, A major outcome of the 1980s merger, acquisition, and shake-out mania was the rapid decline of the previously popular "conglomerate" corporate structure.
Changing Organizations by David Knoke